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Microsoft drops joystick business

Microsoft confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to stop making joysticks and other PC gaming hardware sold under the SideWinder brand. The software giant said in a statement that the shrinking market and "highly competitive pricing" for game-related peripherals made it unwise to continue in the category. The company will continue to sell input devices for other markets, such as mice, keyboards and trackballs.

The company said it will discount prices to help retailers clear out their existing inventory of SideWinder joysticks, game pads, steering wheels and other devices. Microsoft said it would continue to write software drivers to support existing SideWinder devices "for as long as these products remain viable."